A Weekend to Remember

Strengthen you marriage with a 2 1/2 day couple’s retreat! 

   One of the first places where the presence (or lack of presence) of the fruit of the Holy Spirit shows up is in our marriages.  Marriages are one of the battlegrounds where Christians experience the attack of the world, the flesh, and the devil the most.  In order to equip couples to excel and thrive in this area, Living Water Fellowship encourages couples to take time to provide vital maintenance for this relationship.  

   We have created a group with FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember to help couples save money while protecting and enhancing their marriage.  We are encouraging couples to sign up for the Weekend to Remember in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor on February 16th – 18th, 2018.  You can use the group name: LWFMarriage to save $100 per couple for those dates- or any Weekend to Remember getaway in the USA. 

Make the investment in your biggest asset! 

-Pastor Joseph for Living Water Fellowship

Go to: http://www.familylifeministries.org/weekend-to-remember/

Use our group code to receive a $100 discount per couple: LWFMarriage

2017 Year In Review

God has been very gracious to Living Water Fellowship in 2017!  I know that the year is not officially over yet, but we are making a transition.  In past years we have made an anniversary video for the church plant anniversary in September of each year.  In the future we will start doing Year In Review videos that start and end with a calendar year.  So this year, the video went from Christmas of 2016 through September 2017.  Next year the 2018 video will not be released until January 2019.   So there you have it!  Enjoy the video:

The Seven Thousand That Still Love God

Travel Weary?

As I travel along in my journey each week, I often have moments where I feel alone.  Or perhaps I just feel weary.  You might experience the same thing.  There are several things I do when I start finding myself losing focus and feeling alone. 

First, the Word of God

Spending time in the Word every day is absolutely indispensable- without this daily connection to Christ we can start shriveling up on the Vine.  Many days when I start feeling alone, it has less to do with actually being alone physically and more to do with trying to ‘go it alone’ spiritually.  We were designed by our Creator to have daily fellowship with Him. 

Also, the Bible is where we read accounts of other servants of God who have felt alone and discouraged.  Elijah, for example. He was so discouraged he wanted to die and be with God.  But God told him, “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (You can read the whole story in 1 Kings 19)

 

Second, the Fellowship of the Saints

Peter Marshall Graber & Luke Button making pizza

Spending time with other Christians is absolutely vital.  We need each other.  The Spirit of Christ in each of us encourages us when we bump into each other during the week.  Plan to ‘bump’ into other Believers.  Not just Sunday morning, but all throughout the week.  Talk about your faith on purpose.  

This part of dealing with feeling alone seems very basic, but it is profound.  Choose to not be alone.  Connect with fellow Christians, even if it means phone calls, emails, or social media.  Be intentional. 

Third, Awareness of the Church in the rest of the world

One of my all time favorite strategies for those times when I feel disconnected or alone is to choose to be reminded of the Kingdom of Christ throughout the world.  There are a number of things I do on purpose in order to be aware of what is happening in the Church around the world.  Here are two of them. 

The Lausanne Movement.  I have signed up for email updates from the Lausanne Movement, you can see the latest one at this link.  This is a group of Christians representing many nations from around the world, on purpose meeting to discuss things that are close to our hearts as Believers.  I have never been to one of the gatherings, but I hope some day I can be.  Until then I have signed up for the email updates and I occasionally read things on the website. 

Dispatches From the Front.  This film series from Frontline Missions International and Dr. Tim Keesee are powerful. You can be transported around the world and see how the body of Christ is functioning. Dr. Keesee’s perspective is absolutely refreshing and encouraging. I highly recommend getting this whole set and watching them with your family.  

Here is the trailer of the one I watched most recently: 

This 15 minute video shows the backstory and the motivation for Dr. Tim Keesee:

 

And this video explains the vision behind this film series. 

You can see all the trailers here at this link: https://www.dispatchesfromthefront.org/

Take heart!  God is at work all around the world! You are not alone.  Press in to the Word. Be intentional about connecting with other Believers.  Educate yourself about the work of God around the world.  

Blessings!

-Pastor Joseph 

LWF Welcomes Justin & Abigail Blocker

Living Water Fellowship is excited to welcome Justin & Abigail Blocker and their two little daughters!  Justin is called to pastoral ministry and has spent the last three years being prepared for ministry by the pastors at Living Water Fellowship in Bulverde, Texas.  Justin is here for a one year internship with LWF Denver to continue his pastoral training.  

Justin is gifted in music, teaching the Word, and has a heart for discipleship.  We are looking forward to this next season with Justin and Abi at Living Water Fellowship. 

Pastor Ernie Steps Down

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In September Pastor Ernie Gilbert announced that he would be stepping down from his role as a pastor of Living Water Fellowship.  His last Sunday as a pastor at LWF was on October 9th.  The fellowship prayed with the Gilbert family as they step into this new season in their lives. 

 In 2013, Pastors Ernie Gilbert and Joseph Graber were sent out by the pastors of Living Water Fellowship of Bulverde, Texas: Richard “Little Bear” Wheeler, Al Mendenhall, Doug Swanson, and Philip Telfer to plant an elder led, family integrated, Spirit filled church in the Denver, Colorado area.  The past three years have been times of blessing and growth attended by the usual struggles of a church plant.  

Now that Pastor Ernie has stepped down, Pastor Joseph will continue as the sole pastor while we prayerfully consider the future.  We are committed to a plurality in leadership and will seek God’s heart how to restore multiple eldership to Living Water Fellowship. 

We praise God for His faithfulness these past three years! 

Following is the letter from Pastor Ernie that he sent to the Fellowship after he made the announcement: 

Dear Living Water Family,
  As I stated last Sunday, I am stepping down from the leadership of LWF Denver. I am staying on a month leading up until the time I go to Israel. After that we will not be in leadership here anymore.
  It is clear to me that I have too many irons in the fire.  I am leaving because I am too busy to do anything really well right now. This decision was hard to make but we know this is the right one. Julie and I and the kids are of one accord in this and that is important.
  Since I have told Joseph and Stacie, we have had unity and cooperation. They aim to help me leave with honor and leave the door open for our possible return later down the road if the Lord so leads us back. I love that heart and attitude and I believe it really reflects the heart of Christ as well as the Living Water Fellowship heart of preferring one another!
I do thank you, the church, for everything you all have done for us and I look gratefully on all that we have been through in these past 3 years. We thank each one of you for the love you have poured out upon us since we started this journey almost exactly 3 years ago. Words cannot express our gratitude and love for each of you! Please know we will stay as much a part of your lives as we can.
 I ask for your prayers as we now go on to the next chapter and that I can lead my family better through this next season of life. I really look forward to seeing God’s next plan unfold.
God bless you all and thanks for walking this road with us.
I love you all,
Ernie

Here is the letter Pastor Joseph sent to the Fellowship: 

Dear Fellowship,
 ​Let’s honor Pastor Ernie’s request to pray for him and the Gilbert family​ during this time of transition. We are grateful for all the ways that God has blessed LWF through the ministry of Pastor Ernie and the Gilbert family. Stacie and I have been blessed to walk with Ernie and Julie and their family during this time and really appreciate their friendship. We also stand with them in prayer that in this next season of their life they will sense God’s presence always near and be free to fully relax in Christ and to effectively walk the paths that He leads them down.
Stacie and I sense God’s continuing call and blessing for me to fulfill the role as one of the pastors of Living Water Fellowship. The past three years have been an incredible journey of seeing God at work and getting to know so many of you. We are excited about what God is continuing to do through the families at Living Water Fellowship. We look forward to walking with you into this next season. There will be changes. Some of them will be difficult. But God will always be faithful.

Let’s keep in mind this verse that encapsulates our motto:
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

As a church, some of our core values are marriage and family. Because of this we are able to release Pastor Ernie from his pastoral responsibilities and in brotherly love wish him well as he chooses to set aside more time for his wife and family during this next season. However, it is not my desire to be the sole pastor of Living Water Fellowship. Please join me in praying for direction and provision for our next step. I am grateful for our Deacons, Sam Miller an Bob Chartier. They have been an encouragement to both Pastor Ernie and I. I would appreciate your support as we move forward.
Following I have listed a few ways you can help support this time of transition at LWF:
If you have any questions, please take the time to chat with Pastor Ernie or myself. One of the blessings of the way that we are structured is that even though Pastor Ernie is stepping down from his responsibilities as a pastor, he is welcome to continue in our fellowship for this next season. In an effort to stop gossip we ask that you be quick to bring questions to us to help clear things up.
Sunday, October 9th will be Pastor Ernie’s last day in the role as a pastor of LWF. We will designate that day as a day of remembrance and testimony of what God has done these past three years at LWF.
Thank you for your love and prayers! We love each of you!
– Pastor Joseph

 

Sunday February 22nd

Sunday February 22:

 Pastor Ernie and I have made the decision not to have church today due to the icy church parking lot.   

I drove by the church this morning to check on road conditions etc.  The roads are messy but passable.  However, the church parking lot is a sheet of ice and we don’t have a good way to take care of that.  We are putting a plan in place to be able to take care of this should it happen again.  But for today, Living Water Fellowship will not be having services.  
Enjoy a day with your family! 

Please consider listening to this awesome message from Josef Tson at this link with your family today.

Blessings! 
    Pastor Joseph

February Newsletter from the Tebbes

Gary & Amelia Tebbe are missionaries to Peru that we support here at Living Water Fellowship Denver.  This is their most recent newsletter.


 peru crew 3

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Yesterday, we said our farewells to fourteen visitors from four churches in three states who served here for two weeks.  The Living Water Denver Team blessed us with gifts of musical instruments (hallelujah!), laptop computers (hurrah!) and lots of hard work (hurray!).  That work involved quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears. (For the record, this group has left more blood on Peruvian soil than any other volunteer team yet.)

Their original plan was to lay the foundation for our school. Once again, complications hindered starting the building project.  As it now stands, we hope to start construction in early summer.

peru crew 12peru crew

The delay may have been providential, however.  Instead of pouring cement for our school, the team was able to do a makeover for the orphanage where several of our students live.  They painted bare concrete walls, sealed a leaky roof, installed a shower, fixed a sink, tiled a bathroom, built a door, and landscaped a backyard that was a junkyard.

The girls from the home were ecstatic about the new shower more than anything else. They previously only had one bathroom for 10 girls. When they finished, Lucila the housemother, was in tears with gratitude.
 

We trust that God orders our stops as well as our steps.

The short-term visitors were joined by two new long-term volunteers.  Last month, Brian and Michael, graduates of Calvary Commission Bible College, began their one year practicum with us.  These guys have a heart for God, a zeal to share Christ and readiness to serve others. Currently, they are both learning Spanish and helping in the church.
michael 3

They hope to use their construction skills in building the school and in ministry.   The Denver Team unexpectedly blessed Brian with a welding machine.  He is a welder and hopes to teach boys and men here this valuable skill.  I’ve always thought that “Men’s Ministry” should involve blood, sweat, tears and power tools.
 

Finally, Amelia, the boys and I are planning on our annual pilgrimage to a Far Country in the North.  On March 11 we arrive in in Lindale, Texas where we will be based until May.  We hope to travel and visit as many friends, family and churches as possible during that time.  As I told the group from Denver, San Antonio and Minnesota, “We are coming to a city near you.”

A word about our time in the States: In the old days, furlough happened about once every five years and lasted a year. For us, it happens once a year and lasts two months.  While our visits are more frequent, the period to accomplish things is much more fleeting.  Basically, we have to get more done in less time.  We need your help to get it done. Can you make time to meet us and help us share our vision with others?

Traditionally, the three goals of furlough are to rest, reconnect and raise support.  While travel is not particularly restful for us, we do get some wonderfully refreshing times at our mission.

michael 2

Amelia, Ben, Bracy and I cherish friendships more than anything in the world.  However, friendships take time. In Peru we spend a lot of time talking with folks.  Yet time seems to be the scarcest commodity in 21st century America. We treasure our time together with you.

Finally, we are trying to raise support.  What we accomplish in Peru depends on lots of people standing beside us and laboring with us. Our little family here is really an extension of a larger family there.  I am continually amazed at what a handful of people networking together have been able to do here in these few, short years.

And the best is yet to come.  Here are a few of our current projects
• Raise funds to finish the first stage of the School Building (Cost: US$27,000)
• Raise funds for a new scholarship plan for college and technical school for our graduates (Cost: varies US $100- $350 /month).
• Raise funds to hire three more Peruvian Christian teachers for the Christian School of the Andes (Cost: US$400/ month per teacher)

Now, we trust that “God will provide for his work his way.”  From our experience, God’s way usually involves a lot of hard work on our part and generous giving on the part of others.  You have all blessed us so much by giving wholeheartedly in the past.  You can help us by continued generosity and by connecting us with others who would invest in Peru.

This ministry is very much an investment. Three years ago, one of our students was suicidal. Today she is praying to decide which college she should attend.  That kind of testimony gives me the courage to ask you to give and help us find others who will share the joy of giving to change lives.

Thank you for standing with us,
                                            Gary, Amelia, Benjamin and Bracy.
 

To make a secure donation online:

Please click on the link below and choose “Gary and Amelia Tebbe” under the “General Donation/ Missionary Name” Tab. 

 

Thank you!

 

http://www.calvarycommission.org/donate/

 


Prayer For the Persecuted Church

International Day of Prayer For the Persecuted Church

Sunday, November 2nd, was the International Day of Prayer For the Persecuted Church.  As a church we were unable to devote much time to prayer then, so we met on Wednesday evening to pray for the persecuted church.  During our time of prayer we watched the following videos as we prayed for the various countries.

Here is a video from Gospel For Asia: 2014 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church:

Here is a news report on the Chinese church and the persecution they face:

In closing we watched this gripping story from the Voice of the Martyrs:

There are many more encouraging and challenging stories on Voice of the Martyrs Youtube channel.  Check them out at this link. 

Let’s keeping praying for the persecuted church!